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Finally! The Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen beauties are on sale



Everyone who has been saving their money since their announcement in 2015 can finally break open the piggy bank.

Ok, we’re going to boast a little bit here. Whilst we collectively ‘lost our shit’ over the announcement of the Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen concepts being released at EICMA in 2015, the other UK journalists that we spoke to at the time all replied with a unified ‘meh‘, ‘whatever‘ and ‘they’re just tarted up KTMs‘.

Seriously. Whilst everyone ran off to whatever the next, random reveal was at the end of that evening in November of 2015, it was pretty much just us left staring at the new bikes with our jaws on the floor. Well, us and the designer Maxime Thouvenin. It was literally just us from MF, Maxime himself and a couple of Husqy/Kiska design colleagues remaining on the floor.

It was the perfect time to do a quick interview and we ended up with the exclusive news that it was to be Thouvenin who had been offered the job to continue with the design of all Husqvarna production models moving forward.

Now, we would love to think that it was our single, enthusiastic voice at the time that made the rest of the stale, dead-inside press change their minds over the coming weeks and years, but – quite frankly – the desire for these machines was set in stone from the moment that the photos from within the press kit started to hit design forums and the mainstream press online that people started to change their minds.

The design language was unique, perhaps even radical when compared to everything else out at the time and it was different enough to really make the jump from ‘just another motorcycle’ to something that maybe, just maybe, people will put up on their bedroom walls and begin dreaming of riding one day.

Well, now that time has come people. Because by the end of March, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401 and Svartpilen 701 will all be available to buy from dealers.

In Europe the two 401-based machines are already within showrooms, with the Svartpilen 701 joining them by the close of the month, and Husqvarna promise that North American, South American, Asian and Australian markets will have bikes in dealers before the end of April.

Pricing is very specific based upon region – so you’re encouraged to check with your local markets before smashing open that piggy bank – but here within the UK, the RRP of the Svartpilen 401 is £5,599, the Vitpilen 401 is £5,599 and the larger Svartpilen 701 will set buyers back a little more at £8,899.

Now go… Go MF’ers… Head to your dealers and prove to the world that when a motorcycle manufacturer actually makes an effort and looks to the future with their design language that we will all pay attention.

Also, tell them to make that Aero fairing from the 401 concept available as an add-0n!

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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